Meeting Minutes

August 2, 1996

MEMBERS PRESENT: Paul Dworak, Craig Berry, Bill Buntain, Paul Hons, Ginger Boone, Jim Curry, Barbara Hall, Cengiz Capan, Dallas Newell, Cyndie Harris, Robert Pierce, Chris Strauss, Maurice Leatherbury (Chair).

GUESTS PRESENT: Ovee Rahman, Richard Harris, Gary Matthews

Maurice mentioned to members that minutes and agendas for these meetings will be posted on the Web Page for this committee. There were no corrections to the minutes of the July 19 meeting; therefore, they were approved as presented. He stated that he plans to put all written materials that come out of this committee on the Web Page.

Bill Buntain reported on the simultaneous use issue raised by Chris Strauss concerning whether or not every workstation would have to be licensed in order to comply with UNT's Microsoft software site license. According to Bill, the confusion arose because a large number of copies of Microsoft Office have already been installed on workstations across campus from our servers, and per the license, we should pay for every workstation the software is installed on, rather than the 10 metered copies that were allowed from the servers; but Microsoft agreed that since UNT is metering software usage, UNT could pay for the 10-copy licenses rather than the 100 workstations that have the copies on them, going by the metering levels, as has been the case up to now. Chris Strauss stated that if any department had reported actual workstation copies in their quarterly reports to Chris, they have overpaid and those numbers need to be adjusted.

Bill reported that last Friday, Joe Rodehaver, Novell's new educational representative, came by and visited. To clarify the Novell structure, Bill explained that there is an educational group in Utah that Joe is part of; UNT is in the western region; and we work with a Dallas group for problems, but the contracts are handled in Utah. Novell recently sold the WordPerfect applications and negotiated with Corel and decided that since the application products were 20% of the cost of the site license, they would cut the price of the Novell site license by 20% since those products will no longer be available under the site license. Corel, on the other hand, is going to offer the applications site license at approximately 20% of the total cost. This means the Computing Center will contract with Corel for WordPerfect products, or work through DIR. Novell has agreed to offer ManageWise (a bundling of Novell's network management software product) with the Intel Landesk (which is geared to desktop management), whereas this product would have previously been costed out separately. The issue that remains for negotiation is that UNT invests 30% per year in new licenses in order to retire its obligation. If UNT ever got out from under the site license, it would have to pay the difference between what had already been invested and the then current number of licenses deployed. Bill stated that Joe Rodehaver seemed confident that he can get Managewise included free in the site license as an outright gift, that doesn't have to be paid for even if UNT gets out from under the site license arrangement at some future date. The other part of the site license has been the premium support contract which offers UNT access to Novell's engineers in Utah for problem resolution. Bill agreed to let everyone know the details of the final agreement. Bill explained further that if the Managewise product works well for network and desktop management, there may not be a need for a third-party product. He also explained that Novell would very much like to have a site, like UNT, that used this product along with GroupWise and Netware 4.x products, and if UNT is willing to work with them on this, it may have an advantage in the future with Novell as new software releases are offered.

In response to a question from Richard Harris, Bill reported that at a recent conference he attended, it appeared that UNT was the only educational institution that was using both Novell Netware 4.1 and GroupWise products, although there were other institutions using one or the other. Bill mentioned that Novell will be providing some coupons for certification training, which can be used for training the new people coming on board in the Fall. He said he would keep the group informed.

Richard Harris reported that Novell is quite interested in making UNT a successful site for their products, so they would like to send their strategist here on August 20th for some sort of presentation on the ManageWise product, as well as a consultation meeting about how to roll out ManageWise with the desktop enterprise-wide, if that's what we're going to do. He asked if people would be interested in having the Novell strategist come in. There was agreement, and Maurice said he and Richard would organize that meeting.

Ovee reported for the Network Management Tools sub-committee, and distributed a short report (see Attachment #1). He stated that the committee, without knowing about the ManageWise product at the time they met, looked at other products in the same category. They made a list of features that would be required of a network management software product and concluded that it would be worthwhile to look at two products which they plan to install and evaluate prior to the next meeting of this group. Ovee reported that he has what he believes to be the latest version of ManageWise, for evaluation. Philip volunteered to look at the ManageWise product, and Tim and Abraham will be looking at the Frye product. Bill pointed out that in looking at the ManageWise product, a critical issue for UNT is for a management product to be filtered so that there are controls as to how much can be viewed and by whom. Discussion followed and Bill stated that how much any product could be customized in that regard would have to be looked into.

Paul Hons reported for his sub-committee that they have developed a preliminary list of features that would be desirable in a call-tracking system and discussed the pros and cons of developing an in-house system versus a purchased software package. They have planned to meet next week to look at Clientele as well as Jim Curry's system. Cengiz suggested that this group should first define who is responsible for what, developing a general model of where calls are going to go and who is going to respond to those calls; whether or not it will be distributed or central, and then evaluate software. Bill suggested that Paul's subcommittee draft a set of requirements for review by this committee. There was more discussion about a design for the central/distributed system. Barbara Hall stated that it would be helpful for some highly technical support people to be on Paul Hon's sub-committee. In addition, it was suggested that an analysis be done of where trouble calls are coming from, as well as the nature of those calls. Paul Dworak suggested that a very detailed script be written for the persons taking the trouble calls; and in addition, a great deal of training is necessary for the support people taking those calls.

Discussion continued.

Maurice suggested that each manager of a distributed area think about what they want a centralized support area to provide, and at what level of technical expertise, and be ready to discuss this issue further. Maurice asked for a report from Chris Strauss on the nature of the calls his help desk personnel are handling.

Barbara Hall distributed committee notes from the sub-committee on operating system standardization, from their July 30th meeting (see Attachment #2), and reported that they had discussed different types of desktop management software and reviewed numerous articles on that subject. They will be prepared to discuss their final report at the next meeting of this group. They discussed Windows '95 and whether or not there should be a standard operating system. They decided to come up with a standardized configuration that could be supported, and then recommend that Windows '95 be placed on the Supported Computing Items List. The sub-committee will meet again Friday, Aug. 9. Cengiz offered a word of caution about recommending Windows '95 as a standard operating system. Barbara assured the group that the sub-committee did not intend to recommend one operating system over another, but rather recommend that Windows '95 be supported as a viable operating system for use at UNT. Chris pointed out that this committee does not want to imply, in any way, that all operating systems will be supported by the centralized system; and he explained that OS/2, for one, is not supported because no one in the Computing Center is using it nor have they been trained to use it and simply cannot offer support for it, even though an entire department in the College of Education has installed it on their desktops. There was some discussion about the possibility of supporting OS/2 as well as other software in distributed support centers as expertise is built up there.

Cengiz Capan reported for the desktop subcommittee that he has communicated via e-mail with members of the sub-committee regarding the issues to be thinking about prior to meeting. He asked everyone to make a list of software being used in their own areas, how heavily, etc. They will meet next Thursday to discuss the issues in their charge.

Maurice announced that Bill Buntain had pulled out segments of the Ad Hoc committee's report that deal with each sub-committee's charge and that he will distribute them to each sub-committee via inter-campus mail.

Ovee recalled that in the last meeting it was mentioned that one-third of any training budget be targeted towards training of support personnel and end users. He suggested that groups within the Computing Center who support certain products might not only train their own people but also train the customers they support, which includes network support staff. Doing this would serve a dual purpose: 1) to keep Computing Center staff up-to-date, and 2) to provide a educated customer base. Maurice agreed that this needs to be addressed, but perhaps after the groups decides where the various types of training need to be offered - centrally or in distributed centers. Cengiz reiterated that it would be a good idea for this group of managers to use this forum for education in order to become better managers.

Ovee also announced that they had receive a document from Novell stating that Novell has waived UNT's ICT renewal fee for campus training through May 31, 1997, which will save UNT about $4000.00.

Richard Harris asked Bill Buntain to explain the status of Macintosh support. Bill stated that Jason Myer has been moved into the Mac support position. In the area of desktop management, Mike Hatch is working primarily on Windows '95 desktop management platforms issues. They are looking for another person now, for a vacant position, with strong Macintosh skills. He is trying to bring someone in Datacomm up to speed in the area of Remote access and Appletalk in order to take that over from Jason. Basically, they would like to develop a second line of support to back up the distributed support units' own support for Macintosh users. Cengiz questioned the need for a second line of support for Macs. Discussion followed regarding the overlapping areas of responsibilities of software support.

Maurice reminded the group that at the next meeting the issue of centralized versus distributed support will be discussed, and the meeting was adjourned at 2:30 p.m.

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